Reach the start line in peak condition, with this six-week Ironman 70. 3 triathlon training plan

Ironman 70.3 Training Plan. Photo: James Mitchell / Ironman UK

Photo: James Mitchell / Ironman UK

This six-week training plan is designed to get you in prime race shape for an Ironman 70.3. It follows on from a plan we published back in Issue 63 in January, which gave you an outline of your winter training for this race distance. It’s not a problem if you didn’t see it though. Providing you’ve spent at least 12 weeks gradually building up towards the 1.9km swim, 90km bike and 21.1km run of a middle-distance race, you’re well placed to start these final six weeks of training.

At this stage of your training it’s important to focus on race-specific workouts. For example, there are only two bike sessions per week, which may not seem like an awful lot for a relatively long race distance. However, with only six weeks to go it’s not worth padding your training out with social or recovery workouts. Stick to two high quality bike rides per week so you’ll still have enough energy to hit the other workouts hard.

The aim of all this is to build your confidence and ability to cover the race distance at your approximate Ironman 70.3 pace. You should use this period as an opportunity to practise your nutrition and try out your race kit. It’s also a good time to think about your pacing strategy for the race, based on what you can actually do in training (rather than what you wish you could do).

You can swap the days around if it helps you fit things around your job, family or social life. However, the longer sessions will take 48 hours to recover from so try not to schedule two big workouts on consecutive days. If you feel excessively tired, take it easy for a few days. Keep your head and let your body recover – it’ll be the best thing for you.

For simplicity’s sake the swims are given as main set only. In addition you should incorporate a warm-up of around 600m and a warm-down of 400m. This should include front crawl, drills, backstroke and kicking. Although we have provided you with swim sets to follow, attending a coached group is nearly always more effective than swimming alone.

One last thing before you start: please check out the Key and Training Zones Guide below, so you know what the abbreviations mean and what intensities to train at.

Is this triathlon training plan for you?

Goal: To get you to the 70.3 start line in peak condition
Timescale: Six weeks
Start Point: Cycle 45 miles / Run 10 miles / Swim 1.5km
Level: Intermediate to advanced

Training Zones Guide

Zone Description Heart Rate (% max) RPE 1-10 Accumulated Intensity
Z1 Recovery 55-70 less than 2 1-6 hours Easy
Z2 Endurance 70-75 2-3 1-3 hours Steady
Z3 Tempo 75-80 3-4 50-90 mins Comfortable
Z4 Threshold 80-88 4-6 10-60 mins Uncomfortable
Z5 VO2 Max 80-88 more than 7 12-30 mins Hard to very hard

WU Warm up, MAIN Main set, WD Warm down, FC Front crawl, PULL Front crawl with a pull-buoy float between your thighs, KICK Kick with a float held out in front, SECS seconds, Z1 Training Zone 1, Z2 Training Zone 2 Z3 Training Zone 3, Z4 Training Zone 4, Z5 Training Zone 5, DRILL Your preference of swim technique drill, BUILD Do each rep slightly faster than the previous, BACK Backstroke, BREAST Breaststroke

Download the Six weeks to race day training plan